UGRR - Interview Historian


Explore the Underground Railroad and Anti-Slavery history through the expertise of Historians and Educators. Here experts share their findings through years of researching and teaching the Underground Railroad.

1 - Carol E. Mull, author of The Underground Railroad in Michigan, examines the importance of Washnetaw County and the important work done in cities like Ann Arbor and Battle Creek. She discusses her research and how best to use newly digitized resources on the world wide web.

2 - Dr. Cheryl J. LaRoche, author of Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad: The Geography of Resistance, describes the three communities, which are the basis for her research. She examines the methodologies used to study Underground Railroad sites, specifically oral history interviews and landscape analysis.

3 - Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost, author of I’ve Got a Home in Glory Land, illustrates the wonderful escape story of Thornton and Lucie Blackburn and the subsequent court case in Ontario, Canada. She talks about the 20-years of research she did in preparation for her book.

4 - Dr. Martha S. Jones, J.D., associate professor of History and Afroamerican and African studies at the University of Michigan, explains the effects of both the Fugitive Slave Laws of 1793 and 1850 and the Dred Scott case.

5 - Dr. Veta Tucker, associate professor of English and African American studies at Grand Valley State University, talks about the importance of Michigan and the Detroit River. She talks extensively about Cass County, the Crosswhite Family, Erastus Hussey, and the 1847 Kentucky Raid.

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Browse Resources

Carol Mull_Women

Carol Mull talks about the role that women played in the Underground Railroad.

Cheryl LaRoche_Archaeology Fellowship

Dr. Cheryl LaRoche talks about her educational background in American History, Archaeology and Conservation. She describes her work across the country through an Archaeology Fellowship.

Cheryl LaRoche_Discovering William Paul Quinn

Dr. Cheryl LaRoche talks about the discoveries that she made while researching for her book. In this clip she describes how she discovered William Paul Quinn.

Cheryl LaRoche_Henry Highland Garnet

Dr. Cheryl LaRoche talks about the life and importance of Henry Highland Garnet on the Underground Railroad.

Cheryl LaRoche_Introduction to the Underground Railroad

Dr. Cheryl LaRoche talks about how she was introduced to the Underground Railroad while working as a conservator in Syracuse, New York.

Cheryl LaRoche_Landscape Analysis

Dr. Cheryl LaRoche describes how to use landscape analysis in identifying Underground Railroad communities.

Cheryl LaRoche_Lick Creek Indiana

Dr. Cheryl LaRoche talks about the three communities that she documents in her book, “Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad: The Geography of Resistance”. In this clip she specifically talks about her findings in Lick Creek, Indiana.

Cheryl LaRoche_Poke Patch Illinois

Dr. Cheryl LaRoche describes her discoveries in Poke Patch, Illinois, specifically the use of iron furnaces on the Underground Railroad.

Cheryl LaRoche_Preserving History

Dr. Cheryl LaRoche talks about the importance of preserving and researching African American history and culture.

Cheryl LaRoche_Rocky Fork

Dr. Cheryl LaRoche talks about using Oral History Interviews as a research tool during her work in Rocky Fork, Illinois.


© 2012 Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. All rights reserved. 315 East Warren Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201 | (313) 494-5800 |

This program was funded by the U.S. Department of Education Underground Railroad Educational and Cultural Program.